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Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by MacaroniArt, Jun 7, 2010.

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  1. MacaroniArt

    MacaroniArt Rookie

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    Jun 7, 2010

    Is it just me, or am I the only one that has subjects I totally dislike? I am leery of teaching 3rd grade and up because of the math that may be involved (it's sad, but I don't know my multiplication tables, I've tried to learn, but I am calculator dependent). Also with being in Florida, I want to stay as far away from the FCATs as possible....It's not that I wouldn't teach if I got offered a position 3rd and above, it's just dealing with subjects that I myself don't like. If you're like me, how do you deal with teaching subjects you don't care for?
     
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  3. Missy99

    Missy99 Connoisseur

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    Jun 7, 2010

    Everyone has favorite and not-so-favorite subjects, but we can't let that affect how or what we teach. If you don't care for a subject, the students will know. Don't ask me how, but they will. They may also not do as well as they could because of your attitude.

    You just need to find something you do like about subjects you don't like and go from there. Why not start learning your multiplication tables this summer? You might also buy a grade-level workbook (Target always has them in the $1 section) and do the worksheets for practice.

    BTW, math is also taught in the lower grades -- and I am not talking 2+2. Higher-order math is introduced, as well.

    Good luck!
     
  4. msmullenjr

    msmullenjr Devotee

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    I'm a little worried that you are afraid to teach 3rd through 6th grade math. Its all stuff every adult should be able to do. If you are going to teach anything, I highly suggest that you learn your mult facts.

    To the question, I'm not a big science fan. Its my least fav.
     
  5. scholarteacher

    scholarteacher Connoisseur

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    I detest Science--just like when I was in school!
     
  6. MrsHoot

    MrsHoot Comrade

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    I think it's normal to have one subject that isn't as fun to teach as others. As far as being intimidated by the material, I taught 5th grade this year and some of the material is challenging. However, I really enjoyed reviewing and reteaching myself how to teach the material. We did circumference, diameter, radius, pi, tons of algebra and geometry....lots and lots of equations.

    I actually forgot how much I loved algebra and had a lot of fun teaching it to the kids. And to be honest, my strength was not history. I didn't know all of the dates and I didn't know everything about the Intolerable Acts, French and Indian War, etc. as well as all the states and capitals. BUT You have the answers and the resources to be able to teach and familiarize yourself with each area.
     
  7. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Thank you for saying that. I was getting concerned about the lack of response to this issue.
     
  8. sevenplus

    sevenplus Connoisseur

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    I'm sure most teachers would like to stay far away from standardized testing. However, it is a reality of education today and whether you teach K or 12th, it WILL impact your job.

    I am also concerned that you find 3rd grade math challenging. I agree that you will serve yourself and your students by brushing up. Having said that, I think that struggling with a particular subject can help you be a great teacher of that subject. You will be able to relate to students who are having difficulty. Find what works for you to become more comfortable with the material.

    I disliked history when I was a student. I don't teach a ton of history as a K teacher, but I do now really enjoy teaching my students about past events that touch their lives today.
     
  9. scrapnmom24

    scrapnmom24 Rookie

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    You just have to practice! I just got hired to teacher 5th grade Math and Social Studies. I am not thrilled about the Math part BUT I know I have an entire summer to teach myself the things I have forgotten. I taught 1st grade prior to this so of course I am a little rusty on the higher levels. Just remember that YOU are an adult and you can do it!!!!
     
  10. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Wow...You really don't know how to multiply? How did you get certified to teach with such poor math skills? Even some second graders are beginning to think multiplicatively....:dizzy: What is it in which you feel you are highly skilled? What do you have to offer a class full of eager learners? How will you reassure parents that you know what you are doing?
     
  11. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    I think it would be impossible to teach 3rd grade math without instantaneous recall of multiplication facts. At least, in other subjects, you can review material ahead of class and feel proficient. I am not very proficient in science - but, most years the kids went to a science teacher. Thank goodness. I was not good with American history, so what I did was immediately bone up on it. I continued to do that every year and finally grew to really enjoy the subject.
     
  12. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    Second graders in my state learn multiplication and division.
     
  13. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I think of all the numbers we have memorized because we need them-- PIN codes and social security number and bank account numbers and lots and lots of other numbers.

    Think of the locker combinations and phone numbers you knew growing up.

    And an adult "can't" memorize times tables? The same ones we ask 7 year olds to know, cold?

    I think we're confusing "can't" with "won't."
     
  14. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    I am also a bit concerned that 3rd grade math is difficult for you. Especially times tables. Although, I will admit, that I am not the fastest person with my 12s. In a contest, a few of my students would beat me. But 2s through 9s are pretty necessary!

    As for my most disliked subject to teach- that is easy- WRITING. Uggghhh!!!!!! I detest it! And, I am a good writer!!!!
     
  15. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

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    I dislike Social Studies. My 4th grade teacher embarrassed me horribly in front of the class while I was reading a report on an explorer and every since then, I've hated it. I hate learning about history and I hate teaching it. It is like I have a mental block and I can't remember anything.
     
  16. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I have no problem with someone not wanting to teach a certain grade or certain subject because it would be that person, and not me, who would have to deal with possibly losing their teaching position when asked to move to an area they're uninterested in. And I don't mean that hatefully...it's just the truth. So be picky...just be able to deal with the possible repercussions as well.

    With math in particular, I think most all teachers can do elementary level math, but I don't think all teachers would feel comfortable teaching it because they would want their students to have the best math education. I'm aware that I could not provide the best math education to elementary students. So I'm not an elementary math teacher. Although, that said, I think I could be of service to low-level math students because I think I have a way of explaining math that some math teachers--who are so awesome in the subject that they sometimes have a hard time understanding how a student can't understand and who have a single way of teaching math skills--that would benefit students who find them in the same math boat I did when I was their age.

    Note: If you are a teacher who must teach all subjects and you don't feel qualified, do your students a favor and find a position more suitable to your abilities.
     
  17. deedee

    deedee Connoisseur

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    I feel confident in teaching all areas --even if its not one of my stronger areas I can teach myself and break things down in a way that will even benefit my students. I have found that because I struggled in math it made me a better math teacher because I truly understand and can help the kids that feel completely lost.

    I am passionate about social studies and language arts. I love teaching these areas! So while I can teach other areas I LOVE teaching these subjects.
     
  18. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    That is so very true. I am good in math and have always been- I was 2 grade levels ahead beginning in 6th grade.
    I always have 2 or 3 kids who really struggle and it is hard for me to break it down for them. We both get frustrated.
    The other two members of my team were not good at math and can explain it to those lower kids much better than I can. We have a remediation block and they go to one of them for the extra help.

    On the flip side, they have to send me the kids who think very mathematically for enrichment. I understand their thinking and can follow it.
    When looking at their state scores and comparing them to their previous year's scores, my low kids usually show the least amount of improvement. But, my high kids are usually the only ones who show improvement- the high kids in the other rooms usually dip a little.
    I wish we had homogeneous classes, but we don't. I just do my best with my lower end kids and enlist in help from others!
     
  19. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I struggled with math in high school-- at least in some of the courses.

    My algebra teacher was teaching only to avoid serving in Vietnam. He was awful. But I did well because it's fairly basic and I'm good at math.

    My Trig teacher was brilliant, but absolutely incoherant. One of the kids in the class had a mom who was a math teacher, and Kenny taught all of us what we needed to know.

    My Precalc and then Calculus teacher was just mean; I was too intimidated to ask any questions. I struggled.

    I think that struggle has made me a better teacher than I would have otherwise become.
     
  20. Irissa

    Irissa Cohort

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    Jun 7, 2010

    As a former 3rd grade Fl teacher I can tell you you are going to have to know a LOT more than multiplication. In fact there aren't very many multiplication problems on the FCAT.
    Do you know how to find the mean median mode and range? Can you teach the kids about volume, measurement, graphing, elapsed time? Greater than less than, rounding, adding and subtracting 2 and 3 digit numbers with and without regrouping? The list goes on.
    That said, I plan to avoid teaching 4th if at all possible. I really don't feel comfortable teaching more than beginning writing concepts. I'm probably better at it that I think but its amazing how one teacher 20 years ago still scars the psyche.
     
  21. MacaroniArt

    MacaroniArt Rookie

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    I am fine with all the things you mentioned, except the multiplication tables...and for those of you that are wondering how I got certified...I haven't! I am still 6 years away from completing my bachelor's, I have two years of my associates left & then completing my bachelor's. I am going to school two classes at a time, which is why it's going to take so long. I WILL learn my multiplication tables, if it kills me....thanks for all your input though.
     
  22. Missy99

    Missy99 Connoisseur

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    One quetion -- why are you planning on obtaining an associate's degree and a bachelor's? Why not just transfer your community college core credits to a bachelor's program? Otherwise, you are spending too much time and money.
     
  23. MacaroniArt

    MacaroniArt Rookie

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    I am going to a state school, and in order to get into the bachelor's, I have to finish the final core classes. It's a pain, but it's what I have to do.
     
  24. EMonkey

    EMonkey Connoisseur

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    Jun 9, 2010

    I was not someone who did well in math going through school. However I feel I do a very good job of teaching math because I work hard on figuring out a variety of ways to show every type of math skills. I also seriously work on the conceptual understanding for the children. I went back, before doing anything else to get my credential, and took a teaching math class. I put my focus on math because I was not comfortable with my skills in it and I felt in order to be a quality teacher I needed to become more comfortable with it.

    It concerns me that anyone going into a multiple subject credential would feel worried about teaching math due to not having basic math skills. I have taught fifth graders where lower grade teachers dropped the ball as far as teaching math and it ****** me off. I have had fifth graders who were never taught multiple digit addition or subtraction, where they were not taught basic math symbols, where they were not taught to multiply or divide, and where they did not do math work above second grade level for all of fourth grade. If you are scared of teaching math and you are getting a multiple subject credential go back to adult school to hone your math skills to some extent or do something because thinking you can hide from teaching math in the younger grades is just wrong! I teach first graders basic algebra, multiplication through skip counting, double digit addition and subtraction, place value for tens and ones, estimation, graphing, and lots more.

    I am sorry this may seem harsh but I have had children in my class who are the end result of teachers who are not comfortable with math. It is not fair to the children or the following teachers who have to do the catch up as the children go through the years.
     
  25. MacaroniArt

    MacaroniArt Rookie

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    Okay.... I get it, I understand....if I could delete the thread, I would.....sorry.
     
  26. Auter12

    Auter12 Comrade

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    I used to be concerned about teaching intermediate math, also - not bc I didn't know it, but bc I felt I didn't know HOW to teach it, and I DID NOT like math in school either. A math prof. fixed that. Although, math still is my least favorite to teach, bc I think WAY differently my students about math, and they get confused sometimes. I have to, literally, stop and think about how my student will get it, instead of how I get it.
    I also worry that if I get placed in a primary classroom, that I will not be able to teach them to read. As much as I know that's probably not the case (I worked in pre-schools, too) it scares me that I could be the reason my students don't know how to read and aren't ready for higher classes! :eek:

    I'm not going to bash your math skills!! Don't worry! There are lots of ways to pump yourself up on these things. Take a few extra math courses. Use your practicum elementary textbooks and teach yourself the lessons, (most textbooks are "teacher proof" and have key questions AND answers.) ;) I taught pre-algebra (hadn't taken algebra in 10 years). SCARY!! I had to pre-teach myself a few lessons!
    "Times Tables the Fun Way" - rhyming/singing/stories for multiplication; they get stuck in your head like no other!!:thumb: Lots of online multiplication things and grade level math games: NTCM Illuminations (National Standards), AAA Math, the list goes on. I play these games all the time, bc they give me practice (and I like them).
     
  27. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    I honestly love teaching all subject except physics. I struggle with the logic behind the calculations. Luckily I haven't had to teach it. I strongly feel if you are going to be an elem. general ed teacher, you owe it to your students to spend enough time on each content area, regardless of your feelings towards it. I've seen the results of what happens when you don't read with your kids OR do math with your kids simply because you don't WANT to. It's really frustrating.
     
  28. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jun 9, 2010

    Try leafing through Go Figure: A Totally Cool Book about Numbers by Johnny Ball. The title does not oversell the book - and it's from Dorling Kindersley, so it's extremely kid-friendly.
     
  29. heymiss

    heymiss Comrade

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    I taught 4th and 5th grade math my first year, and it was awesome, mostly because I really enjoyed the subject matter. Long division and fractions are more fun than you might think, especially when you ask the kids where they've seen the concepts in real life. I think it's really important to teach them that math builds on itself. My 5th graders kept whining that they'd learned this stuff in 4th grade, and the 4th graders would whine about 3rd grade...but when I asked each grade level if they'd ever heard of This Particular New Thing before, they hadn't!

    A lot of people I worked with last year were TERRIFIED of teaching math and kept labeling me as a "math person." If I had my druthers, I'd probably like to teach ELA, but just because I personally prefer a subject doesn't mean I'd be awesome at teaching it. Math is not my #1 favorite subject in the whole wide world, but I love teaching it and I feel like that's probably where I can best serve the students. I really believe that a teacher's fear of teaching math definitely flows through and impacts how the kids feel about their ability to learn it.

    I'm moving to 6th grade math this year and I'm excited because as I said before, math builds on itself so I'll have a lot of the same material, but with new things added to it.

    BTW, my multiplication skills were pretty good before I started teaching, and now they are EXCELLENT. Same with reducing fractions in my head. Too bad I don't cook, since that skill would come in very handy for cutting recipes down.
     
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